Care Crisis, Economic Crisis and the Struggle for a New World

Care Crisis, Economic Crisis and the Struggle for a New World

with Silvia Federici and George Caffentzis of the Midnight Notes Collective

Tuesday, February 10th
6pm at In Other Words Women’s Books & Resources
8 NE Killingsworth  ~ <;

Join the Dicentra Collective for a discussion and presentation on current economic crisis, the current crisis of care and how these are intertwined. The event will begin with substantive presentations from Silvia Federici and George Caffentzis of the Midnight Notes Collective, who for the past four decades have been involved in radical struggles against capital and research into the working class, women and reproductive labor. A discussion will follow the presentations.

Some of the questions to be discussed are:
How is the current economic crisis affecting the working poor  and other marginalized  groups? How does the current crisis and the crisis of care (care giving, care work, the care industry) disproportionately affect women, both at home and in the global south? What does the crisis and the crisis of care mean for the movement against capital and the state. What struggles are taking place during this crisis – as well as before it erupted – that we can “read”, draw from, amplify and connect with toward a new world?

Dicentra Collective is actively seeking co-sponsors for this event and looks forward to a lively, practical and useful discussion.  We are honored and excited to bring these two presenters to Portland!

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Speaker Biographies:

Silvia Federici is a scholar, teacher and activist with roots in the Italian women’s liberation movement. Federici the co-founder (with George Caffentzis) of the Committee for Academic Freedom in Africa, a member of the Midnight Notes Collective, a radical group that studies global political economy, and author of author of Caliban and the Witch, a groundbreaking study of the role of women’s oppression in the creation of capitalism. Federici is currently focusing inward, examining the role of caretakers within contemporary capitalism. Silvia’s current undertaking focuses on personal stories and individual struggles – exploring what it is means for women to act as caretakers. She discusses the intersection of personal experiences and global structures of power.  In this way, Federici is an important and holistic theorist – synthesizing the personal with the political.

George Caffentzis is a member of the Midnight Notes Collective. He has edited with the Collective two books published by Autonomedia: “Midnight Oil: Work, Energy War, 1973-1992” and “Auroras of the Zapatistas: Local and Global Struggles of the Fourth World War.”

Midnight Notes Collective: <;


Dicentra Collective: Statement on Intimate Violence and Creating Safer Spaces

This statement was read and distributed at the Dicentra Collective’s event on Intimate Violence held at In Other Words Womens’ Books and Resources on 8 January 2009.

The Dicentra Collective is actively seeking to create radical communities of care, and this evening we are applying harm reduction approaches to intimate violence – that is, to sexual assault and domestic violence. Dicentra is seeking to create safer spaces by working towards healing the community from the harm caused by intimate violence.

Dicentra’s Approach to Intimate Violence & Creating Safer Spaces

Dicentra has examined both traditional and radical models that address intimate violence as well as our own experiences with them. We have found in all of them things that were quite troubling as well as inspiring; and created this event – and the one to follow on the twelfth of February – to examine our thoughts and those circulating in our communities more closely.

These conversations began with the construction of our own safer space policy and our use of the term “safer” rather then “safe”, as we understood this as an attempt rather then an absolute. For us the basis of this policy had to be in healing with an understanding of the support needs of survivors and honoring their self-determination. Part of this healing has to be processes of holding those perpetrating acts of intimate violence accountable in a way that provides for their own ability to address these acts and decreases the harm caused to those around them as well as themselves.

Additionally, each member of the collective and the communities that surround us have been impacted by intimate violence, hence our common and diverse experiences have led us to this point. As those with these experiences we want to acknowledge that it can be difficult to discuss intimate violence. Members of Dicentra have observed that too often the voices of survivors are not heard and their process of healing goes unsupported.

We also clearly understand that sexual abuse happens with in a political context. We live in highly oppressive society that privileges some while traumatizing others. These sort of systemic abuses don’t exist in a vacuum. They affect our daily lives, how we relate to each other, and how we take out our frustration and anger. Many of us haven’t learn or are still learning the tools and skills to deal with how this oppression affects us and unfortunately many times make unhealthy or harmful choices as how to deal with it.

We are particular inspired by:

Projects that are moving away from the question of survivor credibility toward looking at action steps that the survivor wants taken on a community level and projects that move beyond the criminal justice system that continues the harm perpetrated by intimate violence;

projects that are prioritizing survivor self-determination and autonomy, as well as providing needed techniques of self-care and counseling to survivors;

initiatives that work with both: those who have and are in the process of surviving intimate violence, and those who have perpetrated such acts;

the level of interest in Portland and across the planet in developing new approaches and community-wide mechanisms to heal from intimate violence, and the dedication upon the part of many members of our communities to come together to discuss and address experiences that are quite difficult;

radical approaches to intimate violence that are developing from the voices of queer and trans peoples, people of color, the differently abled and bodied, working class and other oppressed peoples.

We are particularly troubled by:

Accountability processes that continue to demonize perpetrators as “others” and do not focus on healing the community at large;

organizations and community spaces that have “safe space policies” but no mechanisms for addressing how to create safer spaces or to address unsafe situations that may arise;

the crisis model of organizing that reacts to situations as they happen rather then creating better practices and educational activities that are incorporated into larger radical movement work.

We are hopeful for:

Recent discussions of good consent practices and the possibility of educating our communities around them;

harm reduction approaches to intimate violence that understand the particular needs, context and experiences of the particular survivor;

the engagement with those who have perpetrated acts of intimate violence in ways that don’t just hold them accountable, but seeks to understand their particular context and experiences as well;

creating inclusive and participatory spaces that are not limited to activists and members of a particular counter-culture, and involve the experiences and approaches of many different communities.

Dialogue and Exploration

We are hoping that those attending tonight will be able to draw from these complex and difficult discussions and find some solace as we move ourselves and those around us toward creating radical communities of care and healing from intimate violence. Dicentra certainly does not claim to have “the answers” but hopes that in our discussions – those assembled together tonight and our communities outside these walls – can begin to find and develop new answers and approaches to healing.

The purpose of this event is not to examine best practices, as there are no best practices once an act of intimate violence has occurred. Best practices can only come with initiatives and ways of communicating that seek to create safe and healthy sexual relations in the complex and varied bedrooms we find ourselves in. (This is a subject we will have to pick up at a later point.)

Tonight we will be looking at better practices. That is practices, which in addressing the harm done by intimate violence, seek to improve on previous ones. The harm done to both survivors of intimate violence and the community at large requires initiatives that prioritize survivor autonomy and self-determination while focusing on community-wide healing and education. Additionally, we believe in providing spaces for healing the community and de-isolating peoples’ experiences so that the voices of survivors are heard and acted upon. With this we believe in challenging the idea of perpetrators as individuals and processes that “other-ize” perpetrators. Rather it is the act of aggression and intimate violence that we want to eliminate, as we all have the possibly of being survivors as well as perpetrators.

Such better practices, we believe, should seek to address the complexities of relations and differences in power as they are challenged by: anti-racist, feminist, and working class perspectives; a multitude of genders and bodies; a myriad of sexual practices and sex-positive approaches.

It is this gray area of complex relationships that we are looking to intervene into as we heal our communities from intimate violence, create radical communities of care, and transforming the larger systemic causes of abuse and violence in our communities and society at large.

Our desire for this evening is that through our discussions with those assembled and our communities outside these walls, we can begin to find and develop new answers and approaches to healing and creating support around intimate violence.

Contact Dicentra:

Dicentra Collective Benefit Movie Night at the Red & Black Café

Thursday January 29th

6pm for an introduction to the collective and film, screening to follow shortly after.
$1-5 suggested donation for the cause and no one turned away for lack of funds, and of course amazing vegan food and drink via the café!

On Thursday January 29th the Dicentra Collective will present a rarely shown and controversial documentary by filmmaker Frederick Wiseman as part of our “creating radical communities of care” events series. Prefaced with an introduction to the film and followed by a facilitated discussion, we will explore issues such as physical and mental health, confinement, and care.
Title to be announced shortly; www.dicentracollective for more information and check back for further details.

Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence and Safe Space Policies: Dialogue and Exploration

Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence and Safe Space Policies: Dialogue and Exploration

Thursday, January 8th

6pm at In Other Words Women’s Books & Resources

8 NE Killingsworth

Join the Dicentra Collective for a discussion and presentation on the impact of sexual assault, domestic violence and safe space policies  on our lives and our communities.

The event will begin with a facilitated conversation to explore the strengths and challenges of the response to sexual assault, domestic violence and safe space policies in our communities. Next a presenter from a to-be-announced radical initiative will join us to share their experiences and knowledge on organizing and responding to these issues. Finally, we will use the information gathered from the event to explore “what’s next” for our communities.

Our Intentions:
As a collective, we recognize the importance of ongoing dialogue about these difficult issues in order to ensure that our collective energy moves towards deeper understanding and healing rather than disconnection and alienation. We recognize that these discussions can be both triggering and challenging. A team will be available to provide additional support to you at the event.

Questions To Think About Prior To The Event:
– In your experience of sexual assault, domestic violence and/or safe space policies, what worked well or made you feel supported?
– What would you have liked to happen differently?

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Dicentra is a Portland, OR area collective actively engaged in creating radical communities of care, networks of support, and movements based on relationship building.

Dicentra Collective intends to create safe, learning space at our events. We ask that participants consider how their language and behavior impacts others in attendance. We are striving for a community that is supportive and inclusive. One where we are able to communicate and work to effectively resolve challenging situations.  It will take the collective accountability and awareness of each of us to create this kind of environment. A support team will be available to address any issues that may arise during our events; if you find yourself in need of support please seek out members of our team who will be identified at the start of each event.  Please visit for more information on our policies, procedures and support team.

If you need any accommodation for a special needs please contact us at

Watch Dicentra’s Past Events

Thanks to Dicentra’s friend and documenter Julie Perini, we now have the video of our first event ,”When Language Runs Dry,” up on our YouTube channel. You can find it here. It is in 7 ten minute parts. (Unfortunately Youtube will only let you post 10 minutes of film at a time). Soon we will have up video  and audio from our second event, “Harm Reduction and Intervention.” Also, if you check out our media page, you can find past interviews with the collective and links to our videos.

Dicentra Benefit Show Sunday 12.14!

A Benefit Show for the Dicentra Collective

Stumptown Strugglers
Tansy Tarweed (aka Brenna from Riot Folk)
Malcolm Rollick

Sunday, December 14th 2008
7pm at the Red & Black Cafe
400 SE 12th Avenue at Oak

Donations for the Cause! Beer and damn fine vegan food at the Café!

Dicentra Collective
Dicentra is a Portland, OR area collective activelyengaged in creating radical communities of care, networks of support, andmovements based on relationship building. ~

Event Flyer Available at:

Listen to Dicentra on Friday Morning

Collective members Amelia and Lydia will be on Positively Revolting radio from 8 am to 9 am on this Friday (December 5th) to talk about harm reduction and our upcoming event. To listen in, tune your radio to KBOO at 90.7 or listen on their website.  This is a talk radio show so please call in with your questions or thoughts.

If you can’t tune it, check our website and we’ll post a link to the show once it becomes available.

UPDATE: You can listen to the audio of the interview here.